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TezosUNIVERSE: A Platform That Aims To Capture The Tezos Ecosystem And Community

TezosUNIVERSE is a platform that can hold up to 30,000 NFT lots and aims to capture the Tezos Ecosystem and Community.

It allows people to obtain a Tezos inspired NFT, join a certain colony, showcase their profile, projects, artwork, and more.

In this interview article, we catch up with the TezosUNIVERSE team to find out more.

TezosUNIVERSE

Could you please introduce Tezos Universe?

TezosUniverse is a platform that aims to capture the Tezos Ecosystem and Community, by allowing people to obtain a Tezos inspired NFT, join a certain colony and showcase their profile, projects, artwork, etc.

We strive to present this in a creative, fun, and interactive manner. Over time we plan on adding more features (see our development trajectory map at the bottom).

We believe TezosUNIVERSE can become a great place to get a first glimpse of the diverse Tezos Ecosystem and potentially discover something unexpected.

The globe could hold up to 30k NFT lots. Currently, little over 800 NFT lots have been obtained. We call this “colonization” on TezosUNIVERSE.

How many are on the team and where are the team based? 

TezosUNIVERSE is a team of two buddies who know each other from University in the Netherlands. One developer, (you might know him as @AlmostGraduated) and the other a creative custodian TL. Both are big Tezos fans since 2017, and still firmly believe in Tezos being the Mars-shot.

Where did the idea for Tezos Universe start?

The original idea stems from 2019, but as we still needed to learn to code it took some time before we got there. The reason for the project to be based on Mars is due to the Mars-shot term used during the fundraiser (ICO).

Tezos was the Mars-shot, and more and more tools and projects were announced over the following years. It was hard to keep track of what was going on. The idea was to create a place where an overview of the ecosystem could live.

Why did you choose Tezos for this project?

When learning about Tezos early 2017 it simply made sense. A POS chain that can evolve with the help of on-chain governance. We thought  “what else do you need if you have a blockchain that works like this”. We still think the same way.

How was the universe created (graphic tools etc) Are you working with any other Tezos teams?

The UNIVERSE was created with the awesome Cesium library. We are not working with other Tezos teams at the moment, but look forward to partnering with some great projects in the near future.

For the blockchain data we use tzKt from the Baking Bad guys. For the storing of the profile/project data we make use of a database.

Are you funded at this point, or is it a self-funded project?

The project is self-funded and simply started in an attic in Amsterdam.

Is this an NFT project, gaming project, or both?

The project is currently mainly an NFT project with the core aim of capturing a large and diverse chunk of the Tezos ecosystem. Along the way, we are likely to implement some gaming elements as well.

How many lots of land are available for purchase?

At maximum 30k NFT lots fit on the globe. There are two types of NFT lots to obtain:

1) bare lands (distributed at a later time)
2) greenfields (pre-minted)

  1. Bare lands are the lots that simply do not show any squares drawn. Simply click anywhere and a square will appear. Bare lands are only available when the “Settle anywhere” counter at the top of the screen shows and is counting down.

When obtaining a bare land, or multiple through the batch selection option, a gif will show up in your wallet.

By opening the NFT lot in the Info Panel (The Flag icon), it will show the gif as well, including a countdown. When the countdown reaches 0, the NFT will be revealed and distributed to the person’s actual wallet.

The NFT will be a generative NFT, with a rarity score relative to others from the same bare land batch within this specific generation. Owners of a bare land NFT lot will have to wait until the incubation time is over before the NFT will be revealed and they can upload any profile/project data.

  1. Greenfields are different from bare lands as greenfields already show their NFT (pre-minted). So one knows from the start which NFT they will be getting. Initially 1000 (incl. 10 golden lots) lots were pre-minted during the “Early Settler” generation.

After obtaining a bare land or greenfield NFT lot, you will automatically join the “community member” colony.

When obtaining a greenfield you can directly switch colonies if you wish via the UPLOAD PROJECT/ PROFILE DATA button under ADMINISTRATE -> colony. When obtaining a bare land you will have to wait until the NFT has been revealed and distributed.

Generations
Bare lands being made available or greenfields being pre-minted at the time of execution belong to a certain
 generation.

The first generation was the “Early Settler” generation (the green parachute). This was followed by the “Incubation” generation, the incubation tank in red.

During the early settler generation, 1000 pre-minted NFT lots were added, of which 10 golden lots (more special NFTs). During the Incubation generation, all bare lands were opened up for 2 weeks, and only one pre-minted NFT was added, golden lot #1800.

We are still experimenting, and going with the flow on what to release during the next generations, but we are certainly considering having both fresh pre-minted lots (greenfields and golden lots) and bare lands at the same time.

One thing is for sure, any new generation of NFTs will be a part of the Mars-shot story. Therefore NFT lot owners become part of the story and receive badges for owning NFTs belonging to a certain generation (see next paragraph).

Badges

As seen in the image, the generations have badges. These badges are added to your wallet panel’s Status tab, and show your personal status on TezosUNIVERSE. Each badge has its own meaning and is collected in a different way. This is shown on the right-hand side of the overview below.

Why is there a timer at the top of the website? 

The timer is there to indicate the bare lands are available for colonization. Depending on the generation at the time this is either active or not active. When active, the timer will show. When not active the timer will not show.

Are some NFT lots of land better/more valuable/prized than others?

There are lots who are valued differently. Find below the break-down:

  1. Greenfield lots (pre-minted) – no matter the generation, the greenfield’s (currently there are only greenfields from the “Early Settler” generation, but with upcoming generations, new greenfields will be minted) value will be the same for all still available at a certain time.
  2. Bare lands – when active (timer at the top of the screen) the bare lands are available for colonizing at a certain price. All bare lands during such an active period, will hold the same value. At the time of writing the bare lands are active and their value is 7.7 xtz.
  3. Golden NFT lots (pre-minted) – Golden lots differ from greenfields due to their 1.00 rarity score, their prime location, their outstanding golden color, and the story the NFT tells. The golden lots are all priced differently and are generally more valuable.
  4. Swappable NFT lots – owners of an NFT lot, have the option to swap their lot, this means they set a certain value against which anyone can obtain it from them. These lots are shown in orange-brown (use the filter on the left to toggle this color). Golden lots freshly minted by admin, initially also show up as swappable and gold. As soon as the lots are obtained by someone the swappable status disappears.

NFTs

Each generation has its own set of NFTs. All are unique, but sublayers may be re-occurring within a generation. These sublayers influence the so-called ‘rarity’ scores by 2 factors: the number of sublayers per NFT and the number of re-occurrences of the sublayers.

A rarity of 0.0 means that the NFT is 100% the same as another (these do not occur on TezosUniverse). A rarity of 1.0 means that all sublayers are 100% unique, these can only be found on the golden lots.

All layers are hand-drawn and programmatically combined in such a way that the Mars-shot story unfolds. The first and second-generation NFTs are created by TL, later generations may be in collaboration with Tezos NFT artists.

Below is an example of a Golden Lot with rarity 1.0 (https://www.tezosuniverse.com/15641):

Are there any staking mechanisms planned i.e. like in Tezotopia 

At this point, the answer is no, however, if we find the right partner and it is something the community would like, we would consider it.

Do you work with Tezos NFT artists? 

All NFTs up until now have been created by us. That said,  we are looking to start collaborations with NFT artists very soon and will dedicate an entire generation to it.

As the whole NFT movement on the Tezos blockchain has been a huge chapter in the Tezos storybook we feel like it would be an epic generation to add. So talented Tezos artists, make sure to connect with us preferably through Discord!

Are there any tutorials as of yet for users to use in order to help interaction with the platform? 

Currently available:

More videos are being worked on.

Do you plan to engage in marketing activities

We are looking for ways to get more exposure, but at the same time enjoy the current organic growth.

How is the Tezos blockchain utilized with interactions within the platform? (what specific things take place on-chain and which things off-chain?) 

All lot colonization, swaps, and transfers work on-chain of course, and the profile data upload works with a database. Current colonies also come from a database. We will soon move this to the blockchain and make it possible for (groups of) people to start their own colony, all on-chain.

In order to upload your profile data to our backend, we ask you to watch this video explaining the way to do it: PROFILE upload on TezosUNIVERSE

If it has gaming, what gaming elements exist, and what gaming elements are still to come?

Currently, the only gaming element is collecting. You can collect NFT lots and badges.

What is the difference between colonize and administrate?

COLONIZE will show you the options to obtain an NFT lot. ADMINISTRATE is what you use when you already own the NFT lot. It offers the options TRANSFER, SWAP (incl. 10% platform royalty) or UPLOAD PROFILE/PROJECT DATA for the NFT lot.

Are there similar projects on other chains that you can describe Tezos Universe as being close to?  

For Tezos, not that we are aware, however there is a mars colony project we have seen that is similar, as in a mars globe you can colonize. In the sense of colonizing Mars, it is far from a unique idea, however on the blockchain we hope we were the first, starting way back in 2019.

Is this going to end up being a kind of metaverse? 

We are looking for ways to let users interact with one another. This is on our development trajectory as well. Whether it will turn out to be a full-out metaverse, let’s see.

What kind of things can you do with your land? 

The most important thing to realize is that you obtain an NFT. This NFT shows in your own wallet. Within TezosUNIVERSE it also happens to give you the option to upload data through the “ADMINISTRATE” -> “UPLOAD PROJECT/PROFILE DATA” button and show your projects/art/profile and draw attention to it.

You can join a colony, and soon start your own. By obtaining NFTs you are also automatically collecting badges – which will develop your status on TU.  More features will be added over time.

What is the benefit for artists to own a piece of Tezos Universe

Artists, just like anyone else owning an NFT lot are able to upload a profile with data as well.  Improvements in displaying projects and art are part of the development plans.

See the example below of an Artist profile (we have permission from Culland) (https://www.tezosuniverse.com/17743). In this profile upload, an artist can (currently) add up to 3 ipfs links to display an NFT and add several social media/platform links.

What rights does land ownership grant you?

The only right for obtaining an NFT is having your address registered as the owner of that NFT with the unique number (1-30k).

It is important to know that no one has the option to pause the smart contracts or anything like that, so all entry points will be available forever. For more info on the contracts simply click on the TezosUNIVERSE logo on the main page.

What is an incubation tank? 

The incubation tank is part of Generation 2 called “Incubation”. Everyone can settle anywhere on the globe as long as the counter in the top of the screen is active, and install their incubation tank.

This means that when you colonize an NFT lot, you will see an incubation GIF appear and you will earn the “Incubation Badge”. The incubation timer will start (showing on the gif) and once the incubation time is over, your NFT will be revealed and distributed.

The incubation timer for Generation 2 is set for March 6th 2022, when the NFT will be revealed.

Can users connect land together?

One could become a single entity by joining the same colony. Some current examples on TU are the ‘spacefarmer’, flamedefi’ and ‘ottez’ colonies. Starting your own colony will soon be possible as well, granting a unique color on the globe. Removing the connecting ribs between two lands is not possible.

Have you thought about doing a Tezos Earth too?

We have not, for now, Tezos is still the Mars-shot, however, we might try to terraform/transform Mars into something Earth-like?

Which NFT marketplace platforms is Tezos Universe on

Our NFT lots are solely available on TezosUNIVERSE. This is deliberate as we want people to exchange theirs to someone who is interested in having a presence on the globe, besides just owning the NFT (not that this is ensured now, but we think it helps).

That said, some special NFTs might be released on other NFT platforms for colonists owning certain badges. We are still working out these plans.

TezosUNIVERSE’s artist TL has non-tezosUNIVERSE related NFTs. When interested visit https://www.tezosuniverse.com/29994  to see his profile including the NFT platform links.

What will the next “Generation” be?

We have yet to decide on a name, however, one of the future Generations will for sure be among the likes of “Creator” or “Artist” in which we will collaborate with talented Tezos NFT artists!

What are the next steps for the project? 

Besides generation 3 of course, we will be working on making it possible to start your own colony on-chain. And of course, everything else that is mentioned on the Development Trajectory:

What’s the best way for users to interact and get involved with Tezos Universe 

https://www.tezosuniverse.com (Website)

https://discord.gg/dNjuMRxyrz (Discord)

https://twitter.com/tezosuniverse (Twitter)

https://t.me/tezosuniverse (Telegram)

Any final thoughts you would like to add?

For anyone that loves the Tezos blockchain and is actively using it, we invite you to join us, create a profile and show what the Tezos community has to offer in a creative, fun, and interactive way! Make sure to join our Discord channel and follow us on Twitter. This way TezosUNIVERSE can continue developing and do Tezos justice.

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